Opting for Arts/Humanities Stream in an Indian High School – The Experience – Part 2

I guess this has been one of the most hilarious parts of my stay here in Durgapur yet –

The day I first visited our school for gaining admission, I was interviewed by our Principal and 2 of my teachers. The conversation went really well, and all of them seemed fairly impressed – most at the fact that I would be joining their stream (Arts) inspite of all my achievements (as if this was a huge favor I was doing them).

First day at school, and I understood why I had managed to garner that expression of “awe” from my teachers. Unfortunately, students in the Arts stream are treated to be of a lower intellectual level than they might be, just because they couldn’t (or didn’t) make it into Science. Basically, there are 3 “ranks” of students – The intellectual ones who study Science, the mediocre ones who study Commerce, and then the absolute dirt, the ones who study Arts. At least this is the way some people tend to view it – some sorely misguided people, I must say.

During lunch break, I managed to meet many new students from all the streams. Till now, everyone who had asked me the question of how much I’d scored in my previous examinations simply assumed I was in Science. Then, when I denied it, they assumed I was in Commerce. And then when I told them otherwise, they would have the same question every time – “What the hell are you doing in Arts?”

Students, most of them at least, couldn’t come around to believing me. They took it I was kidding around, and when I told them I was dead serious, they would drop their jaws and look at me as if I had committed a blunder. Then, I told them my achievements. And I watched their faces. And it was complete awesomeness, because it was these supposed “intellectual” students who felt belittled by my past experiences. On top of that, I had scheduled my trip to Abu Dhabi the same month for the International Finals of the Spelling Bee, and that was the cherry on the icing.

Even more hilarious is the reaction I get when guests come over to our house. When they ask my parents (or me) what I’m doing, and they’re told that I’m pursuing Arts, their faces immediately droop, almost in sympathy – sympathy towards me and my parents for the fact that I “failed” to accomplish anything in life (all assuming it just because I’m studying these “lowly” subjects). And then I invite them to my room, and there’s a showcase of shiny trophies that greets them. Then I start to rant about all my achievements, and they end up feeling ashamed for the fact that they judged my academic performance on the basis (the idiotic basis) of what subjects I’m studying.

So I guess, it all boils down to this – No one should ever judge a person by what stream he/she is studying in! It’s a foolish way of classification. I have personally met some extremely talented students, who I’m honored to be studying with. Some are capable of being the most exquisite artists on the planet, while others are dancers with skills beyond measure. Some sing like nightingales, and others have decided to join the Defense forces. There are those who study all the time, managing to excel in difficult subjects such as Political Science, and then there are those who are undefeatable at debates! Overall, I believe Arts students are just as awesome as students of any other stream! No doubt there’s the occasional dolt here and there, but that’s a common feature of all the streams too!

There’s no need to empathize or sympathize with Arts students. We are capable enough of proving our worth. We are the future leaders. And we shall not be deterred by anyone discouraging us!

2 thoughts on “Opting for Arts/Humanities Stream in an Indian High School – The Experience – Part 2

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